• To directly access the forum, ensure your bookmark url includes /forum.

WAM Census 2021 Results - Sources

MartinC

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 29, 2005
8,815
5,015
158
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Not just because it's 'free', which may or may not be bad for artists/labels (some use it to advertise), but because the varied content isn't managed or controlled by a single provider. People upload albums that haven't seen the light of day for 40-odd years like Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day, which I listened to recently.
I just checked out of curiosity and this is avaialable on QoBuz; in the UK at least.

I still think paid-for streaming is all Malcolm Muggeridge. It may seem like it pays artists, but so many artists come on you tube to say that streaming sites rip them off big time and they get more exposure and financial return on You Tube.
Examples? I don't doubt for a second that there is an issue with the payments received by artists from music streaming sites, but I am curious if a free (to users) offering like YouTube's somehow pays them more. Partcularly when much of the content doesn't appear to have been officially uploaded by, or on behalf of, the artists.

I don't agree that dedicated streaming sites have that much more content (if at all) than YouTube.
Are you writing exclusively about classical music here, or more broadly?

 
Last edited by a moderator:

MartinC

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 29, 2005
8,815
5,015
158
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
And do I really want to pay money to listen to some thing on a streaming site just because it is allegedly 'better quality'. Does the negligible bit-rate really alter the transient enjoyment for digital listening? 
As noted above, for many of us all music we listen to comes in digial form and I see no reason to somehow infer any lesser form of value to the enjoyment this.

 
  • Like
Reactions: JANDL100

StingRay

Legend Wammer
Wammer
Apr 27, 2016
9,940
5,263
148
Suffolk, UK
AKA
Ray
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I just checked out of curiosity and this is avaialable on QoBuz; in the UK at least.

Examples? I don't doubt for a second that there is an issue with the payments received by artists from music streaming sites, but I am curious if a free (to users) offering like YouTube's somehow pays them more. Partcularly when much of the content doesn't appear to have been officially uploaded by, or on behalf of, the artists.

Are you writing exclusively about classical music here, or more broadly?
YouTube is very poor at paying artists and I doubt on a lot of the unofficial plays they get anything, in comparisons of payments YouTube is near the bottom. The problem is not so much the streaming sites payments but the record companies not passing it on, even with falling physical sales they seem to be making more money. It should be called record company payments not artists, l suspect much of the problem is contracts based on sales rather than streaming. Streaming sites are not making any profits yet but as more people stream then they are forecast to start becoming profitable in a few years. These sites are spreading to new countries around the world.
 

 

Le Baron

Fully exonerated
Wammer
Oct 18, 2020
2,780
3,923
183
Pays-Bas
AKA
Mouse, Mickey (Mr)
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
YouTube is very poor at paying artists and I doubt on a lot of the unofficial plays they get anything, in comparisons of payments YouTube is near the bottom. The problem is not so much the streaming sites payments but the record companies not passing it on, even with falling physical sales they seem to be making more money. It should be called record company payments not artists, l suspect much of the problem is contracts based on sales rather than streaming. Streaming sites are not making any profits yet but as more people stream then they are forecast to start becoming profitable in a few years. These sites are spreading to new countries around the world.
 
I'm talking about artists on YT who use the platform for exposure, about which they make videos. Many artists have gone back to live music where they actually do get paid. None of the major platforms which are all owned by mega-corps pay huge dividends to artists.

The streaming sites clearly have always been making profits. Hundreds of thousands of people stream their content.

 

Klassik

Well-Known Wammer
Wammer
Sep 21, 2018
1,576
1,960
133
Houston
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Examples? I don't doubt for a second that there is an issue with the payments received by artists from music streaming sites, but I am curious if a free (to users) offering like YouTube's somehow pays them more. Partcularly when much of the content doesn't appear to have been officially uploaded by, or on behalf of, the artists.
@Le Baron can respond with his opinion, but Klassik believes that what Le Baron is getting at is that while YouTube hardly pays anything just as the other streaming services hardly pay anything, at least being on YouTube ensures an artist an immense amount of visibility. 

When it comes the classical music, the way artists get paid is not directly going to matter if someone listens on YouTube or any other platform.  That is because most modern classical record labels pay artists a flat fee with no royalties.  There are some classical labels which don't pay artists at all, in fact the label might demand payment, but then often the artists themselves are able to obtain sponsorship from local cultural organizations and such to make the recordings happen.  Klassik believes that Brilliant Classics is a label who uses such a model for at least some of their recordings.  The reason why artists would pay to get recorded, and the same reason why cultural organizations would sponsor a recording, is purely to get exposure and YouTube is almost certainly the best vehicle for that in the west at least.  Klassik cannot speak for China where a large chunk of classical demand comes from in modern times.

Now, of course, if record labels pay flat fees for recordings and if record labels are dependent on streaming, it reasons that if streaming services have paltry payouts, those flat fees labels pay out are going to become even more paltry as well.  :/   Naxos, who owns many labels in addition to their own, has somewhat resolved this issue.  They started their own streaming service years ago and it's really aimed at universities and those with a musicological background.  Naxos provides streams of many obscure works on their streaming service.  It's one reason why Naxos records so many obscure works.  It helps them bolster their streaming service which, in turn, ensures that universities and such pay large fees for the service.  Klaus Heymann over at Naxos is a really sharp fellow and a real innovator in terms of streaming and also using those streaming fees to record obscure music and put it on physical media for those who still want it.

Not all albums are on the streaming sites but probably over 95% of what I want is now available. Youtube is probably under 25% and even then it maybe split into tracks rather the whole album in one piece.
Klassik has not noticed this with classical music.  YouTube has a great repository of recordings and many of them are uploaded by either a record label or by the orchestra/performer.  Klassik will admit that sometimes finding the uploads from the record labels is not as easy as it should be (it seems recordings uploaded by regular users get higher priority in the search results) and that sometimes tracks from an album are not grouped well which can make it a bit difficult to find the whole album.  These are issues, but one Klassik is willing to deal with. 

Another great thing on YouTube are videos where there is scrolling sheet music to accompany the music.  It's a great way to learn about music and to see how music works in ways that nobody would actually hear regardless of how much money one puts into their system. 

 
  • Upvote
Reactions: Le Baron

Le Baron

Fully exonerated
Wammer
Oct 18, 2020
2,780
3,923
183
Pays-Bas
AKA
Mouse, Mickey (Mr)
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I just checked out of curiosity and this is avaialable on QoBuz; in the UK at least.

Examples? I don't doubt for a second that there is an issue with the payments received by artists from music streaming sites, but I am curious if a free (to users) offering like YouTube's somehow pays them more. Partcularly when much of the content doesn't appear to have been officially uploaded by, or on behalf of, the artists.

Are you writing exclusively about classical music here, or more broadly?
I did get to listen to that album for free though. The people who made it are long gone from this world.

I make a distinction between artists who upload their own content and people uploaded old content, a lot of it deleted from catalogues and some out of copyright. For new music, all  major artists currently active have a YT channel.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Klassik

Le Baron

Fully exonerated
Wammer
Oct 18, 2020
2,780
3,923
183
Pays-Bas
AKA
Mouse, Mickey (Mr)
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
As noted above, for many of us all music we listen to comes in digial form and I see no reason to somehow infer any lesser form of value to the enjoyment this.
I didn't infer that or suggest it or insinuate or anything like that. I use streaming and hard-disk music a lot and it makes up a large portion of my listening. I said that I enjoy it and that bit-rates make no difference to the enjoyment for me.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Klassik

MartinC

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 29, 2005
8,815
5,015
158
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
The people who made it are long gone from this world.
I've not bothered to start looking into everyone else involved, but Vashti Bunyan herself is still alive from what I can tell with a quick Google?

I make a distinction between artists who upload their own content and people uploaded old content, a lot of it deleted from catalogues and some out of copyright. For new music, all  major artists currently active have a YT channel.
If you only include material uploaded by artists themselves then the suggestion that subscription music streaming sites don't have more content is just nonsense.

 

Le Baron

Fully exonerated
Wammer
Oct 18, 2020
2,780
3,923
183
Pays-Bas
AKA
Mouse, Mickey (Mr)
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've not bothered to start looking into everyone else involved, but Vashti Bunyan herself is still alive from what I can tell with a quick Google?

If you only include material uploaded by artists themselves then the suggestion that subscription music streaming sites don't have more content is just nonsense.
It's obviously not nonsense because it doesn't just include what artists themselves upload. What's proving difficult for you in anything I've written above?

If you've thrown money at a paid streaming site and now want to make an argument that it's better than just finding music on YT, that's not going to happen.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Klassik

MartinC

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 29, 2005
8,815
5,015
158
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
It's obviously not nonsense because it doesn't just include what artists themselves upload. What's proving difficult for you in anything I've written above?

If you've thrown money at a paid streaming site and now want to make an argument that it's better than just finding music on YT, that's not going to happen.
Ah, I see, I'll just leave you being wrong rather than trying to discuss this. Have a good day.

 

Le Baron

Fully exonerated
Wammer
Oct 18, 2020
2,780
3,923
183
Pays-Bas
AKA
Mouse, Mickey (Mr)
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Ah, I see, I'll just leave you being wrong rather than trying to discuss this. Have a good day.
There is no discussion. YT is surely the biggest content platform on the planet. Who doesn't know this? Don't try that 'have a good day' nonsense with me.

 
  • Upvote
Reactions: Klassik

Lawrence001

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 21, 2015
4,352
1,862
133
London
AKA
Lawrence
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Like Rdale I have different systems. I used to have everything together with streaming running directly into the hi-fi, but I shifted it out and only use the 'ordinary' hi-fi for listening to vinyl records, some cassettes and CDs.

On the computer (and it is a 'computer', upgraded high-end business machine, rather than a laptop or phone in a stand) this all runs through an amp and also has a CD player/burner connected. So the streaming and hard-drive music is there. It's where I listen to most music. I use the hi-fi for listening to my old record collection, plus new additions. It's when I want to not be online, no tempted to skip about rather than to listen attentively.

I agree with Klassik (and anyone else who said so) that You Tube is an excellent music streaming service. Not just because it's 'free', which may or may not be bad for artists/labels (some use it to advertise), but because the varied content isn't managed or controlled by a single provider. People upload albums that haven't seen the light of day for 40-odd years like Vashti Bunyan - Just Another Diamond Day, which I listened to recently. The classical music rarities are unsurpassed. In general I find paid streaming a con and the people who pay for it monthly are mugs.

Side note: people who moan all over You Tube about ads, just install Wammer Plus. I've never seen an advert on You Tube. Ever.
Why do you think it's ok to talk about your exact use case for streaming where you use it for background music from a computer into an amp (I'm curious what amp and speakers you use for this and if you have a DAC or just use the soundcard in the computer) and therefore brand all subscribers to high quality services as mugs.

What about those for whom online music is the main source played through a quality hifi for "serious" listening, for whom YouTube would not cut the mustard? How are they mugs? That would be like saying owners of expensive turntables or CD players are mugs when they could buy a Bush midi system and save some money.

 

Klassik

Well-Known Wammer
Wammer
Sep 21, 2018
1,576
1,960
133
Houston
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
That would be like saying owners of expensive turntables or CD players are mugs when they could buy a Bush midi system and save some money.
But it's true that they could buy a Bush ( xD ) and save some money.  The majority of music lovers, much less the general population, seem to think that anything above the Bush, or something similar, is for mugs and have acted accordingly.

Obviously some might disagree with that assessment, ;) , but the assessment itself is hardly unwonted.  The merits of using free YouTube for classical music streaming have been discussed multiple times.  While not perfect, Klassik does find YouTube to be pretty great for classical music appreciation.

 

savvypaul

NVA Hi-Fi
HiFi Trade
Jan 11, 2017
5,823
6,928
148
Durham Uk
nvahifi.co.uk
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Hi-res streaming services would appear to have very simple and transparent pricing. If you've got a system that does justice to hi-res files, then you might conclude that the streaming services are very good value 

If I only had a sound bar, then YT would be enough. You pays your money (or you don't) and you makes your choices 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Stargazer

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 16, 2015
1,541
299
118
Devon
AKA
Victor
I don't really see the point of having a decent HiFi system and then just feeding it low level mp3. I don't find Spotify sound quality that good either.
I just listen to Beyerdynamics DT770 (250ohms) headphones via Ifi Zen Dac via   an old half working Acer Aspire laptop.  Hardly 'decent HiFi' yet listening to Beethoven's 2nd or 4th movement of 3rd Symphony of Youtube is absolutely exhilarating for me, maybe because I have not heard anything more 'highend' which you most probably use.  Maybe ignorance is bliss and a lot cheaper. :)

 
  • Like
Reactions: Klassik

Monitor Gold Ten

Basking in the warm glow of Electron Tubes.
Wammer
Aug 6, 2012
8,889
2,240
193
Catfield
AKA
Stu
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
  2. No
As promised, here are three more views on the data by merging all the various digital and analogue sources (for the latter, turntables are the only selected option on Best Quality).

This first chart reflects all responses;

View attachment 101579

However, it is relevant to consider if the respondent actually has an analogue and/or digital source in their system.  From this we see that 3 respondents have analogue only set ups where as 71 have digital only.

View attachment 101584 Returning to the Best Quality question response, based on only those respondents with both analogue and digital sources in their system the results are;

View attachment 101580
Thankyou very much for taking the time to set all of this up and collate the data. 

Not an easy task I'm sure! 

I'll have a proper look through after supper! 👍 👍 👍 

 
  • Like
Reactions: lostwin

Klassik

Well-Known Wammer
Wammer
Sep 21, 2018
1,576
1,960
133
Houston
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I just listen to Beyerdynamics DT770 (250ohms) headphones via Ifi Zen Dac via   an old half working Acer Aspire laptop.  Hardly 'decent HiFi' yet listening to Beethoven's 2nd or 4th movement of 3rd Symphony of Youtube is absolutely exhilarating for me, maybe because I have not heard anything more 'highend' which you most probably use.  Maybe ignorance is bliss and a lot cheaper. :)
Klassik is not even sure if it's a case of "ignorance is bliss."  Klassik has compared classical CDs/SACDs of albums in Klassik's collection and compared them YouTube 160k Opus versions of the same albums using the same equipment.  The CDs do sound a little bit better at least in the sense that they are a tad bit more 'open' sounding.  A tad bit.  Klassik only knows of the difference when comparing the two back-to-back.

Even with armed with that knowledge that CD quality is a tad bit better than YouTube quality, Klassik never feels that Klassik's listening experience on YouTube is any less enjoyable.  If Klassik likes something Klassik hears on YouTube, Klassik will thoroughly enjoy it.  Klassik does not perform any fewer pelvic thrusts, dance steps, or air conducting from the YouTube source than the CD source.  ;)

Klassik has heard sources where there is an obvious loss in fidelity.  Poor quality cassettes, Ronco/Ktel-type LPs where they put too much music on one side of the record, low bitrate MP3s, and so forth where it's obvious that the quality is far from where it would be from a better quality source.  Even then, Klassik might still enjoy the music just the same if it's really good music even if Klassik is left wanting more with the sound quality.  That really doesn't describe Klassik's listening on YouTube though.

Klassik quite likes John Eliot Gardiner's HIP interpretations of Beethoven's symphonies.  Gardiner's Beethoven symphony CDs came out quite a long time back and the audio quality is not so great.  Those came from a time when DG/Archiv's recording quality was rather spotty.  Fortunately, Gardiner has performed the symphonies for TV in more recent times.  The audio quality and the performance quality are arguably better.  Klassik quite enjoys these and they are, you guessed it, YouTube.



Klassik also has some Beethoven symphony recordings performed by Anton Nanut and some Slovenian orchestera.  Yes, these are recordings from cheap supermarket classical CDs that sold for $3.99 USD at supermarkets in the 1980s.  xD   The sound quality is not great, but it is not poor either.  It's a pretty typical 'meh' 1980s digital recording.  The performance quality is excellent though and Klassik prefers it to just about any big-name conductor or orchestra who has performed Beethoven symphonies.  Others might disagree, of course, but the point is that the sound quality of the recordings or the fact that they are cheap supermarket CDs does not stop Klassik from thoroughly enjoying the performance.

There are some classical music dinosaurs who are stuck in the past paradigm of heavy record label marketing where the only good recordings are ones performed by the likes of Bernstein and Karajan.  :doh:   Younger listeners, and astute older listeners, know especially now that this is London and that there are a lot of great performances from unexpected sources.  These great performances may exist on many different streaming sites and media, but in all probability, YouTube is the most reliable place to find them.

 

Le Baron

Fully exonerated
Wammer
Oct 18, 2020
2,780
3,923
183
Pays-Bas
AKA
Mouse, Mickey (Mr)
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Why do you think it's ok to talk about your exact use case for streaming where you use it for background music from a computer into an amp (I'm curious what amp and speakers you use for this and if you have a DAC or just use the soundcard in the computer) and therefore brand all subscribers to high quality services as mugs.

What about those for whom online music is the main source played through a quality hifi for "serious" listening, for whom YouTube would not cut the mustard? How are they mugs? That would be like saying owners of expensive turntables or CD players are mugs when they could buy a Bush midi system and save some money.
I have a DAC and Marantz amplifier. Most of the time I am listening through headphones, so the speakers are connected to a separate hi-fi (even though I also listen through phones on that when it's at night).

That is irrelevant to me though. The question is not that I think having a good hardware setup is here or there (even this is overblown at times), but that the streaming services are not all they are cracked up to be and people are paying for stuff which is marginally or no better than other sources which are not subscription-based.

Hi-fi enthusiasts now in the digital world are desperate to maintain the top rung of being privy to the "very best" listening; better than ordinary people. But the fact is most people can get excellent sound reproduction with minimal hardware that isn't that costly. All the arguments revolve around trivia and pseudo-science to try and maintain the hi-fi aura. Again excellent equipment makes some difference, but it's no longer hi-fi versus transistor radio. Just like making films which look professional has been rendered easier for people with equipment costing under £1000-£2000.

All the stuff about streaming rates is largely a sideshow. While it's undeniable that there is a top quality which can be achieved, the jump from that down to 'second rank' costing considerably less and being barely distinguishable makes the holy grail of audio just a circus.

 

Lawrence001

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 21, 2015
4,352
1,862
133
London
AKA
Lawrence
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I have a DAC and Marantz amplifier. Most of the time I am listening through headphones, so the speakers are connected to a separate hi-fi (even though I also listen through phones on that when it's at night).
That is irrelevant to me though. The question is not that I think having a good hardware setup is here or there (even this is overblown at times), but that the streaming services are not all they are cracked up to be and people are paying for stuff which is marginally or no better than other sources which are not subscription-based.
Hi-fi enthusiasts now in the digital world are desperate to maintain the top rung of being privy to the "very best" listening; better than ordinary people. But the fact is most people can get excellent sound reproduction with minimal hardware that isn't that costly. All the arguments revolve around trivia and pseudo-science to try and maintain the hi-fi aura. Again excellent equipment makes some difference, but it's no longer hi-fi versus transistor radio. Just like making films which look professional has been rendered easier for people with equipment costing under £1000-£2000.
All the stuff about streaming rates is largely a sideshow. While it's undeniable that there is a top quality which can be achieved, the jump from that down to 'second rank' costing considerably less and being barely distinguishable makes the holy grail of audio just a circus.

Could you share the model of dac amp and headphones please as this is pertinent information as to whether upgrading to a high res streaming service would scale up significantly for you?

 
  • Like
Reactions: ziggy

Stargazer

Wammer
Wammer
Jun 16, 2015
1,541
299
118
Devon
AKA
Victor
Additionally to the above debate I think headphones for me add that immediate 'presence' to the sound in a way that Loudspeakers find not so easily to do.  I have used cheap Sony (£20) headphones and now use Beyerdynamic Dt990 (250ohms) and DT770 (80ohms).  With the cheap headphones I still enjoyed the music because it is the way the headphones delivered the music, sort of instant direct open access to the instruments, and the sound seems a little more immediate (a bit like listening to more expensive ATC SCM40 speakers).  Sometimes I get the impression that it takes a more expensive highend speaker to replicate that sort of deliverence of sound as headphones can produce even with very basic system...?

 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
108,229
Messages
2,291,722
Members
69,197
Latest member
night_tripper